Why Give a Damn:

Successful leaders know that judgment must be used judiciously. It can retard the growth of your company and life unless mixed with the right amount of love. Mark Albion’s blog series explores the impact our relationship with our father has on how we build our business and life. Each post has a serial and commentary portion. It is hoped that readers will add their own commentary and discuss in the comments.

The author of this post, Mark Albion, a conflicted achiever who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong, is the New York Times Best Selling author of seven books. He has ridden a horse across Afghanistan and been hugged by Mother Teresa and Ronald Reagan—not at the same time.

If you judge, you can not love.
– Mother Teresa  Tweet This Quote

Commentary on Part Three – Do You Judge or Love?

The funeral did not go as I would have liked. But it was up to me which way I turned—toward the light of love and hope, or toward the darkness of judgment and despair. Moreover, it was never about Marilyn and me. She was protecting him. It was about Dad and me.

I felt my father never used his immense talents to help others, to make the world a better place. I believe he didn’t live up to all that God had given him. God’s gift to us is who we are and our gift to God is who we become.

The brilliant social philosopher Charles Handy had similar issues with his father (though a very different man than my father). He wrote the following (edited) on the death of his father:

My father’s death stopped me, changed my life. Before he died, I was a hot-shot professor at London Business School—writing best-selling books, jetting around the world, lecturing at major universities, consulting for big-name companies. The big time. I was pretty pleased with myself.

He was a quiet, modest man. He lived in the Irish countryside, where he’d been the minister of a small church. I had always been disappointed by his lack of ambition. I had difficulty understanding his reluctance to move up in life.

I rushed back to Ireland for the funeral. Held in the little church where he’d spent most of his life, it was to be a quiet family affair. Instead, I was astounded by the hundreds of people who came on short notice from all corners of the British Isles. Almost every person came up to me and told me how much my father meant to them, how deeply he had touched their lives.

When I returned to London, I was a deeply changed man. Later that year, I resigned my tenured professorship. I stopped trying to be a hot shot. I decided to do what I could to make a genuine difference in other people’s lives. Whether I have succeeded, only my funeral will tell.

The greatest good you can do for another
is not just share your riches, but
reveal to them their own.
– Benjamin Disraeli  Tweet This Quote

Family funerals, particularly for a patriarch, are never easy. They can bring a family together or break it apart. They can bring in the light or the darkness, or as Judaism distinguishes, our “good” or “bad” inclinations (the “yetzer hatov” or “yetzer hara“). We all have both. It’s up to us which one dominates. Which will it be? The one you feed.

Alternatively, I see the dialectic not of “love” and “hate,” but of “love” and “judgment.” I should know: one of my biggest weaknesses is that I can be very judgmental. “Discernment” is important, but “judgment” is another animal. It carries extra weight, often arrogance. As I like to say, there is only one judge, and that judge is “up there”: it’s not me!

This distinction is critical for business leadership and success. No one will love your company the way you do—no one will do things the way you do them. If you are a control freak, you will have to do everything yourself. But if you turn away from judgment to love and discernment, if you focus on people’s strengths and are open to different ways of doing things, your company and life can flourish.

It is particularly effective when this value permeates your company, as it has at Betsy Sanders’ former employer, Nordstrom. Here’s an example, based on Betsy’s words (edited):

If you are coming to help me,
you are wasting your time.
But if you are coming because your liberation is
bound up with mine, then let us work together.
— Lila Watson

Reverend Carolyn Crawford was known throughout Southern California for her powerful sermons. Speculation was high just after this holiday season. Each Monday the sermon topic was posted outside the church. This week: The Gospel According to Nordstrom. Congregants knew upscale Nordstrom and wondered: How could a merchandising Mecca illuminate the Gospel and its lessons?

The church was packed that Sunday. The hushed congregation awaited Reverend Crawford’s sermon. She began by evoking the bustling, luxurious atmosphere of a marbled Nordstrom store during the holiday season. She recounted the sensory delight permeating the store, attended by flocks of shoppers laden with finely wrapped gifts.

Suddenly the atmosphere was shattered. Hunched over, clad in torn clothes and filthy with stench, a bag lady walked through the doors. Reverend Crawford followed her, certain that her presence would be taken care of promptly—as unwelcome as it was incongruous.

The Reverend waited to intervene with security so that she could soften the blow to the woman’s dignity when asked to leave. Though Reverend Crawford saw the stark contrast of this woman to the abundance of the store, Nordstrom employees saw something else.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
what I was walling in or walling out.
– Robert Frost  Tweet This Quote

No one tried to stop the bag lady as she shuffled through the store. She reached the most elegant, pricey Special Occasions Department, where a smartly attired saleswoman greeted her warmly.

Reverend Crawford slipped into the fitting room to eavesdrop. She listened, astonished. The salesperson’s responses to the customer were respectful, not pitying. When she asked to try on evening dresses, the salesperson brought over one gown after another, asking for her opinion. The customer inspected each gown, trying several on. An hour slid by, and the salesperson evaluated which gowns she felt were the most flattering and appropriate for the customer.

This is what we are here for: To serve
and be kind.  Tweet This Quote

The bag lady decided she was finished. She left the fitting room, thanked the salesperson, and walked out. She looked different. Her head was held high, her gait smooth, a new light in her eye.

Reverend Crawford was… dumbfounded. She asked the Nordstrom saleswoman why she had spent an hour with this bag lady, helping her try on thousand dollar gowns—at a store which measures employee’s sales per hour religiously!

The composed Nordstrom saleswoman looked Carolyn Crawford straight in the eye, answering what she saw as a simple question: “This is what we are here for: To serve and be kind.

The Reverend closed her sermon: “Couldn’t we say the same thing about ourselves as churchgoers, as human beings? That we are here to serve and be kind?”

Each time this real story is told, each time shared, its truth grows. Do you judge first and then try to love? Or do you simply love first?

Do you judge first and then try to love? Or do you simply love first?  Tweet This Quote

About the author

Mark Albion

Mark Albion

Mark Albion left his business school professorship to answer his life question: "How can I be a Marxist and still own my own Jacuzzi?" He is now a serial entrepreneur, faculty founder of Net Impact, and author of a series of books exploring meaningful careers, impact entrepreneurship, and success.

  • I find it difficult in daily life and work not to be judgmental. How do you keep your judgment at a minimum, while still discerning good from bad, etc., and leave yourself open to love and kindness to others?

  • vitalecm03

    I love this article so much! Thank you for sharing this with me! As a Catholic I have my beliefs and virtues but I also forget why I’m here, what my purpose is and what the golden rule states. I sometimes find myself judging other people without even knowing them, and then I take a step back and think, how would I feel if someone else was judging me? I usually don’t care what other people think of me whether they really know me or not but that’s not the point. You should always love others no matter what they think of you or how they decide to treat you. God loves us for our flaws and our mistakes, as we should do the same. Often it takes stories such as your’s for us to realize how we are acting.

  • Thank you. Yes, it is easy to forget the big questions of the why, and the whats, as we treat other people in ways that sometimes don’t make us proud of yourself. Any examples from your life and how you corrected yourself?

  • vitalecm03

    There have been times when I’m at work and a coworker does or says something that may offend me and in my head I judge them on how they aren’t nice person and such and I forget to step back and think,”I don’t know what this person is going through or what they have been through for them to act the way they did towards me.” No matter what I should always love others and be kind to them because truly that is what we are here for, we live through God. We make choices based on what he would do.

  • laurenkraft

    I agree, it is difficult not to be judgemental in daily life. For me I work with all types of people, sometimes my mind wanders but I always think first do I know what they have been through? No. So why judge, I don’t like to be judged and nobody else does either.

  • Beautifully said – “What would He do” – great compass, isn’t it?

  • Lauren, you made a point I think is critical – ‘I always think first…” A lot of us react/judge quickly, without taking a pause first, deep breath, think before you speak/act. I see this quite often with successful leaders – they take that pause you suggest with the “think first.” Thank you.

  • Leija2014

    Thank you for sharing this post! As a Christian it’s hard to keep in mind that only God can judge because we are constantly being judged ourselves or subconsciously judging others. I try my best to love because that’s what Jesus is about: love. I wouldn’t want someone judging me when they have no idea who I am or what I have been through. Do you find yourself judging others first or do you go into people and the world with nothing but love?

  • I wish I could go into the world with only love, emulating what Jesus is about. I thought when I was younger that by the time I was 50, I could do this. I’m 62 and still judge more than I should. What do you think is the key of greeting and meeting the world every day only with love?

  • Leija2014

    Maybe you find yourself judging others more now than ever because there’s something deep inside of you that you’re struggling with? You’re older now and wiser so I think it’s easier to judge people because you’ve experienced more. Maybe find what you’re struggling with because you need to love yourself first.

    “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

  • Like Jacob struggling with the angel (God), yes, we all struggle with things; I struggle with judgment. I think I am better than I was when younger, but not “good” enough. I will think about what you said – very good point – not sure what I’m struggling with here, but feel you are on to something. Thank you!

  • this post really encouraged me and blessed me especially in the trying time i am currently in. I never would have expected to find such a blatant spiritual article on here but then why shouldnt I? Always reaching for love and not revenge is best for everyone in the long run. I recently learned that when we reach so quickly for judgement (in a condemning way rather than discernment) we are saying that we dont trust GOD with His judgement. we are saying that our judgement is more fitting and that I need to be vindicated. When this is done, room for reconcilliation and growth in relationship begins to diminish. In context of business, acquiring a discerning mind and allowing others to help can do nothing but build comradory, relationship and growth in your business in every way.

  • Beautifully said, and I hope your current situation improves. Yes, discernment not judgment is the key distinction, and knowing which is what and when to use it properly is critical. Rather than looking for personal vindication, as you said well, we should be looking to help each other and make good decisions for us all. Any specific example you’d like to offer to add to your great points here?

  • hladinim

    This is an amazing article and is has made clear to me how far I need to go. I have become better at noticing when I’m being judgmental of others and consciously turning that off, however my first instinct is not to think positive thoughts when encountering people who treat me (or who I believe will treat me) a certain way. I think what is hard about this is that I use my mental judgement commentary as a self-defense mechanism instead of verbalizing it. I need to practice creating a positive outlook for myself and hopefully it will spread to others who I encounter. I think the quote by Lila Watson is my new favorite.

  • Lila Watson, fyi, is an Australian aborigine. I think you are smart to start with a personal positive outlook. How will you do that?

  • sarahbrooks

    Thank you for sharing! I loved your
    article. Many people judge, everyone has at one point in time. I
    agree that the only person who should judge is God. Who are we to
    make comments about someone from their appearance? We do not know
    their story, or have walked in their shoes. I once read a book about
    a neurosurgeon who had a near death experience. He said that our
    truest, deeply self is completely free; and our true spiritual self
    is who God wants us to be. The way we get closer to our true self is
    from love and compassion! As the sales woman stated, we are here to
    serve and be kind. 🙂

  • Thank you, Sarah. Well said! To add, I like to say, Who we are is God’s gift to us; who we become is our gift to God.

  • Cory Zaeske

    I agree that sometimes you just have to stop and think. I used to be a very judgemental person. Once I started actually working my whole outlook on people changed. As much as you want to judge someone you always have to rember that you don’t know them or what they have been through. I met one of my best friends on college that I constantly judged in high school. Always think to hold off judgement.

  • Frank_Stanek

    I am a judgmental person more often than I would care to admit. In everyday life I do try and keep in mind every time I meet someone who bothers me or who I don’t understand that I have to try and see things from their point of view and that I really have no right to pass any type of judgment of them. I don’t find as much meaning in the religious parts but I do appreciate the information they provide.

  • justin bowers

    Thanks for this article! I think it’s important to realize that you need to love first before you judge. Be kind and have an open heart and the people who come your way will respect and become a part of you you normally wouldn’t have experienced. My favorite quote in this post is “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” I want to try and do more of that in my life. Help people see themselves in a different light. I think it’s important for everybody to be shown their riches. Why do you think humans judge so much? Is it innate or created by the society we live in?

  • Ryan R

    Thank you for sharing this article. I really enjoyed reading this, particularly the bit about the lady in the Nordstrom store. This story makes me realize that I am often quick to judge someone without even knowing a single thing about that person. I never really think at the time that what I’m doing is wrong, but this article opens my eyes to how wrong it is to judge someone without even giving them a chance to show who they really are. As a society, we put so much weight into physical appearances, which is, in my opinion, unhealthy and unfair. Do you think there is a chance that this will ever change?

  • We all find our way, Frank, in our own way. I try to put out several avenues, with each person choosing what works for them. What is it that works for you?

  • Great question, Justin. I am no expert but I think we judge as a way of deflecting, or feeling better about, personal judgment. I know that I am most judgmental, when I admit it to myself, about traits that may reflect personal traits I struggle with. What about you?

  • I think we have to fight our DNA, here, Ryan. Humans usually “size up another” in a matter of seconds, forming the largest part of their opinions–which can change, but it takes more and more data. The recent re-do’s of Darwin’s theories do indicate that DNA can be altered as quickly as within 2-3 generations. What do you think?

  • Evan Hibbs

    Mark, thank you for the article. I believe I do both to be honest. I am somebody who judges probably at times, I know I shouldn’t but I do. When I first meet a person I usually make a snap judgement on whether or not they make me feel good or bad, and if I could see myself having any sort of relationship with them. I believe I can be quick to judge others at times and this article opened my eyes and makes me realize I shouldn’t judge others without fully knowing them. I honestly feel like our society will never fully get over judging the personality of others, or looks of others, etc. Do you feel like our society can stop stereotyping and criticizing?

  • Ryan R

    Honestly, I don’t qualify myself as one to say for sure, as I have no idea how the next generation will change, or the one after that. I would say that we’re slowly becoming more accepting of certain groups as a society, i.e. the acceptance of people who are homosexuals, and the decrease in racial discrimination. However, as much as I want to believe that the physical appearance of an individual will become less of contributing quality in terms of opportunities in life, I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

  • Tkachukme11

    Thank you Mark. This is an awesome question that everyone should be faced with. It is like does the chicken or egg come first. I would like to believe that I fall in love first. Yes, we all make our inital judgements but when it comes to loving someone, you don’t see any bad in them. It is once you start judging during loving in which you will fall apart. One should always love someone for who they are because if they don’t, then shouldn’t be with them. Do you believe that we judge more once we fall in love?

  • Jessica Andrew

    Great article and thanks for sharing. I believe I do both, love and judge. When I first meet a person, I instantly judge them based on how they look, how the dress, etc. I think this is something that everyone does and it is hard to stop. Once I realize I am judging someone, I instantly stop feeling bad about what I just did. Once I get to know someone, I begin to love being with them and enjoying their company. Do you think society will be able to stop judging people?

  • In our DNA, as we do judge very quickly on site. Takes time, patience and effort for us to change. No futurist, here. What do you think it will take, Evan, for stereotyping and criticizing to stop?

  • Interesting question. I think we could based on the fact there is a lot of self-judgment going on here as well, once a relationship starts and that can spill over into judgment of the one you love. What do you think?

  • I think it is part of our DNA, Jessica. Part of our feeling self-important in this vast universe, otherwise, what do our lives mean? Judgment can often give us this ego-boost in sense of self. What do you think?

  • GrycowskAJ17

    Great article, really made you lit things in a different perspective. Really need more people to read this article. Definitely going to pass it on!!

  • GrycowskAJ17

    “As much as I want to believe that the physical appearance of an individual will become less of a contributing quality in terms of life, I don’t see it changing anytime soon”

    I couldn’t agree more!!! It really makes me sick to my stomach!

  • Jennifer Lynn

    I think the final quote of this article caught my attention the most: “Do you judge first and then try to love? Or do you simply love first?” It’s a different way of thinking for me and probably for many people because we all know we have judgements over people or products at some point. I think about this in terms of coming into a relationship with another person because what is the first thing we do when we meet someone? We look at the shoes in their feet or the look on their face and immediately judge. I have been working on the judgements I make because I am one to love and be kind to people I don’t know. I hope people can read this article and really take a different perspective about how they look at people. Do you think it is possible for everyone to stop judging, or will the judgements continue as they always have?

  • mhansen11

    Thank you so much for this article! I really enjoy your writing. Judgement and love are definitely two difficult concepts to think about. In a perfect world people would love without judgement but it doesn’t seem to be that way. I think you may not necessarily need to love right away but you should not judge. Love needs to grow and be earned or entrusted but I don’t think it should just be given out. Unless it’s a mother and a child right away because how could you not love something so close to you! Anyway, judgement shouldn’t be occurring though. You wouldn’t want people to judge you, so don’t judge them.
    Thank you again!

  • Please do pass it on, as well as other articles you find helpful. What, in particular, did you learn, here, that you felt needed to be passed around?

  • I don’t know, Jennifer, do you think it is possible for everyone to stop judging? Why or why not? I think it is part of our “masculine” DNA.

  • Yes, and thank you for all your comments. Judgment creates a distance between us, and even a distance between ourselves and our best self. It allows us to avoid looking in, at our own faults, and make “excuses” by judging/observing through our own eyes others. Do you agree?

  • mhansen11

    I do agree with that yes! I hadn’t thought of that right away in judging yourself. That is a difficult thing because of course you want to be the best or the best you that you can be but sometimes you judge yourself too much and that can be bad. You nit pick your faults and look down on them when you have to learn from them and make yourself better. Get 1% better each day. It’s good to judge a little bit of yourself to improve your weaknesses but you should never look down on yourself saying you are not good enough for something.

  • amykahl8

    I agree, of course I have heard this before but each time I am reminded not to judge others because everyone has their own battle I take a step back and think to myself, “yeah, I really do need this advice”. I don’t judge people all the time but I do catch myself making comments about people that I don’t even know and then I realize, I would be hurt if someone did the same to me. I think it’s possible for people to stop being so judgmental but it would take a huge conscious effort from the individual.

  • GrycowskAJ17

    I found the comparison between love and hate with love and judgement.I really found it very easy to relate, which is really what I feel most people will also take from this article.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    This was an enlightening read. The answers to a simple life become simple when considering how many people will show up at your funeral. The lives we touch are based off of how we judge others, or more-so our lack of judgment. Although it is human nature, we can all take a moment now and then to notice when we are being judgmental and instead turn our assumptions into positive acts of kindness. Thank you for this article.

  • Haley Horn

    Thank you for writing. I never really found myself to be judgmental until my parents and my friends starting calling me out on it. It hurt my feelings, but at the same time, I probably hurt other’s feelings as well. Now, whenever I come about something, I try not to judge right away, especially if I don’t know them. I am in college and there are plenty of opportunities to judge. Even if someone looks different, or approaches a situation differently than you, doesn’t mean that it isn’t okay. What I have taken from this article and my friends and family have taught me is to stop, think, and get to know the person/situation.

  • kristinwagner32

    Thank you for this article! It was very intriguing! I notice myself always judging others sometimes without even realizing it. I say to myself but hey they are probably doing the same. However once I realize what I am thinking or saying I also think to myself “I don’t know their story”; I do not know what they have been through nor who they are as a person. I also think to myself that I would never want to be judged by a person I simply do not know. Since college and meeting a completely different groups of people each and everyday my judgement of others has been put in perspective and I do try to give everyone a chance first. I really enjoy the last quote about “loving first” and I think it is a great quote to live by and conduct our actions against. I also have taken from this article is to stop and think and first get to know the person, thanks!!

  • katie bartlein

    Again, thank you! The sales story is a real eye opener. The sales women was doing her job by taking care of the customer without regards to how she looked. The sales women put judgement aside and in ways help the customer. Judgment can be hurtful whether we do it on purpose or not. I work at a gym where judgement is frowned upon. However, it is tough not to judge some of our clients for safety reasons. I like to give each client the daily exercises, and wait for them to tell me if they can do it or not. If i were to judge them on their appearance and give them an easier workout, it wouldn’t be fair. I have done that in the past and come to realize that I should be giving everyone the equal opportunity to perform. I thank you once again for posting such a relatable topic and something that means something to me. Do you think it is okay to judge is some professions such as I mentioned, or to strictly do our jobs and wait for the correction?

  • Thank you, Alexandra. I wonder, when we notice we are being judgmental, what do we/you/I do about it?

  • Yes, we all need to be a bit more patient and take a deep breath at times, Haley. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ book, The Dignity of Difference, explores this theme of non-judgment of others who may appear very different from us. Any tips, other than not judging right away, to move in this positive direction?

  • You are welcome, Kristin. I love your comment “I don’t know their story.” So often, we have thoughts about how people are acting, and we forget to realize the context of their lives, of what may be happening in their lives. This empathy is a central message of the book I’m writing here, with commentary. Any other advice?

  • I think the trick here, Katie, is to differentiate being “judgmental” and being “discerning.” Discernment — patter recognition — is critical to our species, and responsible in part for some of our talents. It is done without arrogance, ego, and “judgment.” What you are doing is discerning factors about a person as best you can to help them achieve a goal. Makes sense to me. Do you see the difference?

  • Haley Horn

    Patience is definitely my weakness. I am a very impatient person, that I need to work on as well. Along with not being judgmental, I think I need to put myself in others’ shoes and try thinking from a different point of view. I am also said to be a very outspoken person. Some of the things I say I don’t stop and think about, and I need to learn how to control that.

  • Some of my friends control things with physical cues. Like one friend who rarely lets an employee finish talking, now clasps his hands behind his back when an employee is talking and doesn’t let go until s/he is finished. Any physical cues like this that might help you “control”?

  • Absolutely. Some times we really need to be much kinder to ourselves. We can be our own worst enemy at times, as they say “perfection is the enemy of the good.”

  • Even height. Studies show how CEOs in general tend to be about 6 foot 2 inches – some height contributes to “bearing.” So it goes, eh?

  • Haley Horn

    That is a very good idea. I only seem to be outspoken with people I know well. So if I am talking to someone for the first or second time, it isn’t really an issue. It’s just when I am talking to someone I am comfortable with. That is a good technique I will probably try.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    It’s simple to say what we would do when we notice ourselves judging others. What we decide to do in the moment, of course, is what matters. Realistically, I think it takes time and practice to shutdown our sense of judgement on others. Literally catching ourselves in the moment and opening our minds, as well as how we react when we do so. I also think something to take into account is that our judgements are not always negative, but positive ones can be just as harmful.

  • GrycowskAJ17

    Wow that’s extremely interesting. Really makes you step back and think. Thanks for all this great information!!

  • What was different about you or your friend from high school to college, Cory, that you then became friends?

  • KevinThomson32

    I feel like I am very guilty of judging someone right away, but honestly who isn’t? I feel like more people judge right away then love. Also, don’t you have to judge someone before you can love them?

  • LaurenSE

    My mother has shared this theory with me my whole life, “this is what we are here for: to serve and be kind”. I love it! The times that I feel like I have accomplished something, or feel like I have done something worth while, are the times I have done something for someone else. That’s were true happiness lays, in helping and being kind to others. It is nice to see that other people are actually living by these words. What a beautiful story.
    I think this theory falls in line with the golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It is something I strongly believe in. I wish more people had the mentality of the saleswoman in this story. How could you change the way people think? To help them skip the judgement phase?

  • Interesting question, Kevin, but I don’t think you have to “judge” someone before you can love them. I do think you need to discern what they are like, but you don’t need to bring in ego and arrogance in the process. I think that’s the difference, wouldn’t you say?

  • Good question, Lauren. What is necessary to have people change and skip the judgment phase? What do you think would help?

  • Jessica Walker

    In my own opinion, I find that if you are judging someone before you love them, I am not sure if you actually really love them. Yes, we make observations about people, form first impressions and so on, but if you love someone, this is left open for further interpretation. Usually, when you judge someone, that is a set point and your mind will not detour from this idea. If you love someone, you don’t want them to be stuck in this place, because then they can never escape and you may never truly be able to get to know who they are. What do you think the answer is to your question?

  • I think that it is hard to do both, Jessica. Love has no place for judgment. To love, we must dispense of judgment. Don’t you think?

  • AmandaBrom

    Thank you for sharing this great story. I agree 100 percent that you are the person who determines the outcome. Your attitude can determine how something will play out. Of course it can’t control everything but it will allow you to either feel good about it or bitter. I enjoyed reading the story about the bag lady. Working in retail I see how easy it is to judge someone when they first walk in the door. Unfortunately its easy to do. I think if people loved before judge the world would be a better place. How do people move past the idea of judging someone first?

  • Evan Baldwin

    Incredible insight! I find this so hard to do. Even with the people I love, I find myself judging others. Simply because I care about them and want better for them, but you’re right that judgement always comes across as arrogant.
    It’s a shame that nobody knows if their life was a success of failure until their funeral, but it’s true. And it just reinforces the idea that the rat race will not fulfill one’s purpose.

    I love that, “Our gift to God is who we become.” It has nothing to do with how much we have, but in the parable Jesus was most pleased with the people who multiplied the talents given to them rather than keeping them safe and holding on to what we have. This makes sense because loving without judgement is risky, it’s hard, and it is not natural for egocentric people, like myself.

  • Tough question, Amanda. We are “programmed” for pattern recognition, but that does not mean we need to insert our ego and become “judgmental.” Suspending judgment I believe is an art one has to practice and learn. Do you agree?

  • It’s not natural for any of us, Evan. Yes, judgment gets us away from recognizing that as you said, Jesus loves us all, no matter what we have or don’t have. We are all equal in God’s eyes. So then, how can we judge if this is the truth? Why is it not natural?

  • Evan Baldwin

    The simple answer is, we can’t. If this is true, it seems impossibly self-righteous to give out judgement if we have received an underserved love first.
    Mark, would you argue that judgement is not natural but rather our feeling of self importance is, and judgement is our means to feel important? Is this true, based on your response to Jessica Andrew, “Judgment can often give us this ego-boost in sense of self.”

  • mhansen11

    I like that absolutely.. It’s hard sometimes to figure that out at that exact moment that you need to not judge yourself too much because there is no perfection in life. People, or personally me thinking, I wouldn’t want to disappoint my team or co workers in anything you do.

  • Yes, Evan, I think you said this very well. A confident person, comfortable in him/herself, does not need to throw around judgment.

  • byrnesbk24

    I find myself torn on this subject. People naturally judge and have bias’. No matter how hard you try not to it can happen, even in little amounts. I prefer to keep religion and politics out of it and go by way of human rights and equality. We as a human race should come together as just that…the human race. I have a bumper sticker on my car that I truly believe in and try to remind myself of every day; “all people are created equal members of ONE HUMAN FAMILY”.

  • Just as text – not “religion”- in my tradition (Judaism) there is an interesting debate between two great Rabbis. They are arguing over what is the most important lesson in the Bible. Rabbi Akiva (2nd century) says it is Leviticus 19:18 – Love thy neighbor as thyself – a commandment that exists in every major religion. But Rabbi Ben Azzai disagrees and argues instead (and wins 🙂 for Genesis 5:1 – “These are the generations of Adam.” As you said, we are cut from one cloth, we are all part of one human family. When Dr. King was asked “Do you feel you’ve been a credit to your race, Dr. King? he replied, “I certainly hope I have been a credit to the human race.” Not civil rights, but human rights. If we are all part of one family, and we realize these roots and equality, judgment will slowly slide away. Don’t you think?

  • kalscheuar30

    So far every article you’ve done just astonishes me. As the person who’s usually judged, this made my day. My experiences are usually the rich people passing judgement on me. Especially when I go into higher end stores, they follow me like I’m going rob or steal from them. But it’s even more rewarding to see their faces when I’d pull out a wad of cash and pay and walk out of the store. However, if it weren’t for the reverend’s sermon do you think the employees would treat her the same way? I mean sure there’s surprisingly still good people out there, but that one person doesn’t compensate for all the judgmental people out there.

  • Palecekb

    Mark, great article. I recently watched a movie in class called ‘I Am’. It was about a movie director finding a new meaning to life. His goal was to ask people two very important questions, What is wrong with the world? and How can we fix it? The moral of the movie was having love and compassion for one another and making a difference in others lives rather then your own. Your article goes right along with it. I was touched with the Nordstrom story and can only pray things like these occur more often then not. Were your eyes opened as much as Handy’s was at his fathers funeral at your own father’s?

  • kristinwagner32

    I just know how frustrating it is to be judged by someone who has absolutely no idea who you are, what experiences you have overcome and your personality. I believe however the people who judge others like this without knowing them have their own insecurities and this is their way of “feeling better” about themselves. I do not know if this is what you are really looking for but hopefully it was helpful! What do you think?

  • MeierKM23

    I love reading your articles Mark. They are put in perspective, relatable, and their are stories to go along with them. I agree that many people judge before they love, and also admit that I can be judgmental at times. As I get older, though, I am realizing everyone has their own story, and judging people is not what God would want us to do because I know I don’t like being judged myself. I really liked your story of the bag lady because as many people would assume reading, she wouldn’t be “allowed” in there but the saleslady just did her job as she said is to serve people and be kind. I think if everyone had this mindset, the world would be a better place to live in. I really appreciate you sharing this because, I am going to be less judgmental and keep up my respectful and helpful personality.

  • Monique

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It rings true to my life in many ways. Many people judge other first before they simply love. I studied abroad in Europe for a semester and unlike the Nordstrom employee most high-class businesses judge you as you walk in. It can be very disheartening that people judge others based on appearance and fear of the unknown. I try in my everyday life not to judge others first but have love and compassion for them. I know that when I am judged it hurts and it so easy to do it back but I will not fall into that rut. I also liked what you said about focusing on people’s strengths. This reminds me of a story my mom often tells me. Fishermen don’t need to put anything on the top of the crab bucket because when one crab begins to crawl out, the others will pull him back in. In life there are many people who don’t want others to succeed and will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. This world needs more people who will pull other crabs out of the bucket, help them find their strengths, and helm them succeed. I strive everyday to help others out the bucket and not push them back in.

  • MeierKM23

    Hi Amanda. I just want to say that I agree with both your comment and question. Your attitude is a huge part of your personality and how you come off to others around you and in your life. I have learned that attitude can hurt the people you love if it is not very positive and edgy. I am a very thoughtful and warmhearted person but I know it can be a huge part of how people interact with you and how you look at (judge) others. Also I have wondered how others get passed the idea of judging because I know we all do but if we try and reducing it, we can help others as well. The world would definitely be a better place without so much picking and judgments. Thanks for sharing your comment!

  • It wasn’t just one person. It was a policy, an ethic, at Nordstrom. I know it well as we used to have it at Kinko’s when I worked there. We had many “strategy” arguments but the end result was the same: everyone who walks into our store should be treated as if they were the head of GE.
    Whether the person needs one copy of one piece of paper or thousands, they each should get whatever attention they need. Pulling out wads of cash may help your ego (I know the feeling too and have done the same, so not passing any judgment, believe me!), but this is simply about kindness, human dignity, and a company’s policy that even in a sales-driven environment, that environment values each human being. Am I making sense here, in your opinion?

  • Yes, I know of Tom and the movie, and even own it. Good message, absolutely. Handy’s funeral was different than mine. I knew my father very well, and nothing at the funeral changed my opinion about him. What I didn’t expect was my stepmother’s reaction — not that it was called for, but I don’t think I understood how much she was hurting and how much I may have hurt my father. But there was no revelation there like with Handy, because I knew who my father was and I couldn’t agree with the choices he made. As you’ll see when the book unfolds, I begin to learn and understand his choices, but they could still not be mine. And this meant we were better apart, unfortunately, as mature men, then together. Make sense? If not, read on as the serialization is published here and hopefully it will help!

  • Good for you, Meier. And if you figure out some key lessons you can pass on regarding how to be less judgmental, I’d love to hear them!

  • Thank you for the crab story, Monique. Never heard it. Yes, it’s nice when we realize that we are all in this game called life.. together.. when we recognize that we are all angels with one wing, able to fly only when we embrace each other. Time to get out of the bucket!

  • I do believe you’re right, Kristin. Often others are dealing with their own insecurities. So maybe if we don’t judge them, but instead help them feel better about themselves… you know what I mean?

  • MeierKM23

    Will do!!! Thanks!! Love reading your articles!

  • MeierKM23

    Thanks for sharing Monique! I enjoyed reading your comment. I have never heard about the crab story, but it is very true! I also try not to judge others, as it is very hard not do and you know a lot of people do it! It is very hard to be judged yourself and I was taught by my grandma and my mom to treat others as you would want to be treated and have kept that with my ever since the first time I heard it. Thanks again for your comment!

  • Anthony Urbanski

    To many people “judge” first, and I am one of them. It is tough to become a love first person, people today judge everything from attractiveness to intelligence. It seems like we are always under the microscope. I would like to stop judging people and make a change. I am going to make a conscious effort to do so, but what is the first step in the process?

  • First step is to focus on anything that is good about the person you are about to judge. Look at what is good about people first, and that can help with judgment. Does that help you, Anthony?

  • Anthony Urbanski

    Thank you for the quick response! Yes, this does help however too often people look at someone and snap to conclusion, I am guilty of this. I was thinking more along the lines of not knowing a person and judging of first appearance but by focusing on the positives it becomes easier to “love.” I think it is almost human nature to unknowingly judge other people.

  • kristinwagner32

    Right. Except I also believe it is on a individuality level of learning how to cope with your insecurities instead of bringing others down with you. Instead of making them feel sorry for you. I think some people need to learn techniques about themselves to control it too.

  • Connor Driscoll

    Thank you for posting this great article! Literally every person on earth can relate to this because we all must decide whether to judge or love, or both. For example, when I meet someone I always judge first. I simply cannot help it and while I try to look past my initial judgments and give people a chance, sometimes I am unsuccessful. Sometimes first impressions are just too strong. Mark, how would you recommend I look past these first impressions that may be leading me away from great people?

  • The fact that you are aware, Connor, is a great first step. And then, as I said to Anthony, try to look first for the good in people. Everyone has it, don’t you think?

  • treehugger90

    Great post as usual! I agree that it is about love and judgement because really is a person hating? For me, I love first because you truly do not know what that person going to be like until you get to know them. This makes me think back in the day when I was in high school because you always seen at least one kid sitting alone at a lunch table. Reason being was because everyone was judging that person. I was the one that would go up that person sitting by themselves because I felt bad and really that person wasn’t so bad. I wish more people would open their hearts a little more before they judge.

  • I love that you went up and sat with that person. That is such a wonderful display of pure love for another. Wow. You are a great example for others.

  • Yes, it is much easier to deal with other people and your insecurities by blaming/judging them than ourselves. I think it really helps to have someone you trust around you who can “call you” on this stuff and make you look inward when you need to. Thank you, Kristin.

  • treehugger90

    Thank you very much! I always try to get to know person before I start judging because you really never know what that person is like. I think its very important to get to know someone from the inside not the out!

  • I think so too. We are pattern recognition species. It’s our gift and cross to bear.

  • Connor Driscoll

    I would agree! Thanks for always responding so quickly. It shows that you care.

  • Jcoppa

    This article reiterates the trouble I’ve been facing since leaving high school.
    It is now my third year in college and I find it difficult to keep a loving mind-set at all times. As my relationship with God continues to grow, I find it easier to smile and those I used to look down upon. I’ve befriended people that in high-school I may have seen as invisible. It is human nature to have a snap judgement, but I think the thing that sets loving people apart from judgmental people is the reaction you have to that initial judgmental thought. Do you entertain the thought, or tell yourself it’s wrong and then smile a warm welcome to the individual?

    I shared this article on Facebook because I think it is inspiring and we absolutely need more love in this society. I find myself becoming upset with my close friends who will make snap judgments daily, and I wonder how I can change their mind-set without seeming self-righteous.

  • Kendra Larson

    I thought your article stated a very important point: Do we judge first and then try love? or do we simply love first? I thought this was a very important point. There are so many people that judge others and are plain out not kind to them. They assume different things about people just because they look or act a certain way. People are too quick to judge and do not take the time to get to know a person before they make assumptions about them. My parents have always told me, that I should be kind to everyone because you never know what a person is going through in their life. They could be having a horrible day, and just one nice gesture could completely make their day! Thank you for sharing this article! I look forward to reading more!

  • Thank you for sharing the article on Facebook and spreading the word. I hope some of your friends will comment as well. My oldest daughter asked me the question you posed many years ago and I would respond the same way now that I did then, from Geneis 12:2 – God’s first words to Abram when he asks How can I create a great nation? How can I lead all these people. God simply say – “v’heyeh bracha” – be a blessing. You be an exemplar of the values you hold as important — let your life be your sermon, let your deeds do your talking — and in that way you will impact others as they will allow you to impact them and their actions. You change their mindset by being a “tzadik” — a righteous person, a just, fair, kind person — through how you walk through life, as the Bible says, walk in the ways of the Lord, or as in the Navajo prayer, “Walk in Beauty.” Make sense?

  • Thank you for sharing, Kendra. As Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, their echoes are truly endless.” When we are younger, we are so taken with smart, sharp people. As we age, it is kindness. We also find out that when we are making a decision, as the sales lady did, you rarely go wrong if you let kindness be your guide. Best advice I’ve heard: just try to be a little kinder, as your Mom said. In a few weeks, my commentary blog will tell a little story that makes this point a bit differently. Hope you’ll be reading on and pass these on to friends.

  • Jeovany_Espino

    Responding to your first question, i think we as humans are intended to judge first and then try to love. It is part of our nature perhaps grew biologically or developed psychologically. We can’t love at first because we don’t have reasons to love off the bat, which is why we have to judge and see if you like them or dislike them. Looks can be decieving but sometimes what a person appears to be is really what the person, like if they appear to be superficial then perhaps they are. Your parents are wise in giving you that advice and has helped me many days that were tough and random strangers greatly me nicely. That alone changed the rest of the day for the better.

  • LevenhagAL14

    Reading this article brought a lot of emotions out of me. Regret, happiness, hope, and sadness. Looking back on who I was in high school, I realize that I wasn’t as loving as I could have been. I gave up so many opportunities to expand and create lasting friendships, but instead clung on to the few superficial friends that I did have. If I could go back, I would have opened myself up and provided myself with the opportunities that life had naturally given to me- to love, and live peacefully with others. It’s important to understand that these moments come around often, if in the appropriate mindset, to open oneself up and enjoy the company of those around you without taking them at face value. Everyone has a story, albeit different or strange, interesting and thought provoking, or harsh and honest. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Brandon

    Thanks for the article! It is really easy to judge someone before you even get to really know them. I really did this a lot in high school because i didn’t know well enough it was wrong to judge people. I like the quote “if you judge you can not love” so true because if you judge people you shouldn’t be able to love that person then.

  • Thank you. Yes, most of us did things, had attitudes, in high school, which we would change if we could, but you can’t go backwards, so starting today, we can make the world, and our world, better.

  • Love is truly about the other person – caring about them as they are, not as you might want them to be (often in ways that reflect yourself). Judgment is about you/us – it is about our take on the world, our ego – and doesn’t allow space in our hearts for others and their own ways of approaching the world. Thank you, Brandon. What main lesson do you take away in terms of an action you can now do?

  • weidmankl15

    Very good blog! It really opened my eyes on a lot of things in my life and I could relate your ideas to so many situations I have encountered. I have a tendency to always do things my way in my life. This means I do a lot of things by myself, but personally I am 100% okay with that. I am not the type of person that can constantly be around others. I need “me time” and people don’t understand that. Or at least many of the friends in my life don’t. I think the hardest part about turning away from judgment and focusing on other people’s strengths for me is that I won’t have my routine that I like. I don’t want help from others, even if they think so. I want people in my life that can accept who I am, and appreciate the time that I can give them. I judge them a lot because they don’t have the responsibilities that I have. I didn’t grow up like they did, therefor I feel like we are on two different levels. I need to not think like that and appreciate what we do have in common and compliment their strengths, but where do I start? They already are sick and tired of “the real me” so do I move on and find me people in my life?

  • Find people that make you feel good, feel alive, excited. Look for people who are passionate about what they do. Often brings out the love. Try it and tell me what you think!

  • Janna Bartels

    Thank you for this post! I agree that we are not the judge of people and there is one judge that will judge all of us someday. I really liked that you made a distinction between judgement and discernment. There is a family I know that has told me a story about a man who was a pedophile. This family became friends with this person regardless of his past. Would they then ask this person to babysit for their children? No. The family does not judge this person for his past, but has good discernment to make good decisions for their family. Just because you say “I don’t judge” doesn’t mean your good sense goes out with it.

  • An interesting example, Janna. Good distinction here as well. Few people are strong and clear enough to do what this family has done. Any other lessons from them ?

  • turbo_frey

    Thank you for this very intriguing article Mark! I agree that it is very important that we avoid judging people before we get to know them. We shouldn’t judge anyone period because we never completely know what it is like to live their lives. My mother always told me to never judge a book by its cover and to treat others how you would want to be treated. If you don’t want others to judge you, don’t judge them. There may always be a deeper story that we never thought to imagine. What is your advice to people who are continuously judged on a daily basis?

  • I believe it is hubris–ego–to waste time worrying about what others think. More focus on what we’re doing, and let judgment come as it does. In most cases, judgment tells you more about the judges than the judged. Simply serve and the rest will take care of itself.

  • I believe it is hubris–ego–to waste time worrying about what others think. More focus on what we’re doing, and let judgment come as it does. In most cases, judgment tells you more about the judges than the judged. Simply serve and the rest will take care of itself.

  • tjbaumeister08

    I totally agree with your comment. I feel a lot of people are very judgmental nowadays. I hate when my friends or family see someone and right away they say they something judgmental about the person who they know nothing about. I always try to get to a know person first instead of automatically judging them right away.

  • Mcgrailkk30

    My sincere gratitude goes to you Mark for sharing this post with me. The story from Reverend Crawford was really eye opening to me. I would say I am a judgmental person and I have been working on fixing this. As you mentioned there is a clear difference between judgement and discernment. I am concerning myself with becoming a better person, and displaying more love and compassion rather than passing judgment is a large part of this.

  • masterdan55

    I agree with you, i also feel like i am more judgmental and i feel the need to work on showing more compassion and love. Having these qualities are great and everyone should look towards these. Thank you for sharing!

  • Daniel John

    Thank you for the article, it was very interesting. As a future teacher I can relate to others judging others before they even get to know them. It is sad to see people treat others poorly but I enjoyed your story’s and they have changed how I will act in the future. My favorite story was about the man returning to his fathers funeral. It turkey shows that being kind to others is more important than personal success.

  • GraceFelion

    I really liked the story about the bag lady and Nordstrom. It’s amazing how a simple gesture and kindness can truly make a difference and brighten someone’s entire life. I alway try to live a life that is full of positivity and kindness. I try to understand others and really get to know them before making any judgements. Because of this, there are very few people in my life that I have issue with or really dislike. I try to live by the quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Peace and love will get you far.

  • What is the one thing you can do to start displaying more love and compassion, less judgment?

  • What do you need to do to turn “look toward these” into action?

  • Daniel – what is one thing that you will change “how I will act in the future”? Good lesson there for many of us, I’m sure.

  • You pre-empted a story I have coming up, Grace, where the end lesson is that everyone is “fragile, handle with care.” We are fighting hard battles. What is the challenge(s) in your life?

  • Evan Hibbs

    I think for myself depending on where I’m at and who I’m around, it can dictate whether I stereotype a person when I first meet them. I think if people surround themselves with people they actually would like to be around and in the right setting, that could make a huge change in regards to stereotyping and criticizing.

  • Good point, Evan. What watering holes you choose to hang out at can have a big effect, eh?

  • Waterholes we hang out in make a big difference to perspective and actions, eh?

  • Evan Hibbs

    I believe so. If I’m at a job fair with people planning on going into the same career as me, I will be much more likely to generate conversation with others and not judge them because we already know in advance we have some of the same hobbies, goals, and interests. We will pick each others brains about different subject matter in our field, and compare and contrast our own ideas to realize how to adapt to that field and learn new things. If I’m at a bar or a party full of people I don’t know (I’m not the type of person to do that anyway) I may be much more reluctant to generate conversation with certain people if they look at me in a weird way or aren’t very friendly. The setting changes perspective and actions. It would be more likely for violence to occur at a bar, compared to a library because of the different personalities, rules, and regulations in those buildings. (Nothing against bars!)

  • Brittney Glende

    I really like how you ended your article with the quote “Do you judge first and then try to love? Or do you love first? I think this is a question that everyone should ask themselves to reflect upon their own life. Often times we tend to judge first and not even give others a chance. This article is so well written and almost makes you think of how you live your life while reading this. My goal in life is to help others out and to not be so quick to judge. When I catch myself I remind myself how I would feel if someone automatically judged me. Thank you for such a great insightful article. Do you catch yourself judging those that you pass everyday or people who are less fortunate then you with out even thinking about it? I know I do at times but I know I need to break out of that habit. Thanks

  • laurenkraft

    Brittney, I loved that quote too. I as well find myself judging but then take a step back and realize… why am I doing this? It is something I believe everyone has done. But it is always good to realize when you do it, to better help yourself to do it less often.

  • schrammjm26

    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your posts because of the fact that they are a reflection on your life. Sharing them really lets us see into your inner emotions so thank you for that. We all struggle with the challenge to be kind and love someone versus judging someone by the sight of them. People that do not draw assumptions upon the first sight of someone (which I believe to be human nature) are truelove the best among us. I catch myself many times forming an opinion about people before I have even spoken a word to them or heard a word from their mouth. This is no doubt something that I have to improve on and I’m hoping will change throughout the course of my life. I believe image is important and how other sees you matter, such as wearing a suit to an interview, however we all must remember that appearances are far from the whole story.

  • Caitlin Snyder

    I really enjoyed this article! I think the ultimate question to ask ourselves is, “do you judge first then try to love, or do you love first?” I think most of us judge first and then try to love. It is easy to be judgement, but it’s hard to love someone past the flaws that we see before even getting to know them. We are much too quick to judge, but that’s easy to say and hard to actually act on. Let’s face it, we are definitely not all Mother Teresa’s walking around. I think after reading this I will definitely try harder to not be so quick to judge others, especially just sitting around in the University Center! Thank you for this amazing article!

  • Caitlin Snyder

    I really enjoy that quote, Grace! Thank you! I am definitely going to try to use that in my daily life, although it is easy for me to be quick to judge others based on first impression. I think it’s awesome that there are few people who you dislike in your life, that is impressive!

  • Trevor Boyle

    I really like this article. People always feel the need t judge rather then accept. I used to be that way always doing things for myself and not the greater good of the people around. In football i always played for myself and didn’t care what was best for the team. It wasn’t until i reached college that i finally understood that the team is one an we work together. After a few off the field issues i finally came to the understanding of doing things for other people and bettering myself as person that doesn’t judge is always willing to lend a helping hand. Do you feel that is we were able to be judgmental towards other that the greater good of society would be better off?

  • Kelsey Spencer

    This article really hit home for me! When I hear stories about the way that others can make such a positive difference by simply loving instead of judging it is wonderful! Loving instead of judging is a phenomenon that often leads people to pay it forward. In my own experience I have found that when others act with love instead of judgement it can completely change my day around. We walk around judging people every day yet we have absolutely no idea what they are going through. There’s no way to know if their love one recently passed, or they were laid off, or they are simply having a bad day. If we act out of love always, we will make a positive impact on those that we encounter and can make the world a better place. I find that the times I am the most judgmental are when I am going through a rough patch in life. it is so easy to take out frustration on others without even opening your mouth, however it is a slippery slope into chronic negativity. When I start with my thoughts and look for something in everyone that I love, it makes my actions out of love as well! Loved the article, thanks again!

  • Willie

    This a great article thank you for this post. I for one love first no matter what because I have seen what can happen when you judge before you actually know a person, and for the most part it doesn’t turn out well for the person doing the judging. I feel like I am judged every day of my life every time I step out the, go to class, go to the store, especially in a place where you are the minority, I feel like the judging never ends no matter how many times you prove people wrong and show them something different.

  • I enjoyed reading this post. I think you’ve pinned point some very good points. In the society today, it is often hard to appreciate love first. We find excuses to not give other people and ourselves a chance to get to know each other. I can be judgmental. However, if we can all learn to love before we judge, this world would be a happier place to live.

  • Yes, so what will you do to improve and change? What is a good first step for you?

  • Thank you, Caitlin. What tips can you give us on how to stop being so quick to judge others? What are some good first steps you are going to trying out and advise us to do the same?

  • Thank you for all your Sunday comments, Trevor. I do think judgment gets in the way of improving ourselves and our relationships with others. At times, it is an excuse, I believe, for not doing so. As you said, better to lend a helping hand than to judge; better to improve yourself and take a lesson from watching another, than to instead just put it on them, don’t you think?

  • Well said, Kelsey. Yes, how do we know what others have gone through, are going through, as so much of it could explain their actions. Why not help people bring out their best than just expect or judge them as their worst?

  • Sorry that you feel so “judged,” Willie. Are there a few things you could do to get out of that mindset, those feelings, to help you feel better about others and quite possibly, yourself?

  • I agree, Amanda. What is the role of judgment in helping us get along better and feel better about our lives?

  • strakaJA01

    Wow, great story @disqus_oGVjqua4oW:disqus! This article and your comment have really touched me! Sadly, I catch myself wondering if this world will ever change? People seem to judge so quickly! You bring up a really good point when you mention that people are afraid of the unknown! It is so true! I am just like you where I refuse to fall into the rut of judging others. I know that we are all human and we naturally do it sometimes, but I try my hardest not to. I feel like there are so many selfish people in this world that are like the crabs you talked about. People are too competitive and cannot handle when others do well or better than them. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. The minute humans realize this, will be the minute the world is a better place. I’d like to say thank you to Mark for writing this great article as well!

  • Josh Pritchard

    I agree with you. I think I am one of those people too. I judge first before getting to know someone. And it is tough to be a love first person. First impressions are pretty strong. What are some ways to change this?

  • treehugger90

    I agree that judging

  • Keeli Gilbert

    LOVED THIS! I always tell myself that I am not a judgmental person, but let’s be honest, I am and I think that we all are in certain ways. Whether it is of ourselves or other people.
    I am definitely better at not showing my judgment to people, but there are few that I find myself having to tell someone about. I know that when I am judged it hurts, but if that is the way people view me, then I will change it or I will learn to live with it.
    As a fitness instructor I have to remind myself that everyone is in here for a reason and that I am here to help them out as best as I can. Of course there is only so much I can do, but it is up to them to work for what they want and to fight for it as well. If a patron tried hard in one class and then complains that they aren’t seeing results, well… you’ll only get what you work for.
    Thank you for this article and for helping remind me that judging and hurts and to be careful in what we do and who we judge.

  • Thank you, Keeli. Yes, so true in your profession where your clients are struggling with their own personal judgments and projecting what others might be thinking, too. How do you create a non-judgmental climate in your business?

  • Caleb Trantow

    This is a great article and a lot of the time I feel like I struggle with something similar at least when it comes to service. Sometimes I am not sure if I help in my community because I want people to think that I am a good person or because I actually am doing what I do because I sincerely want to help people. Because I am conscious of this I have tried to take steps to ensure that I do things because I feel it is the right thing to do and focus less on how others see my actions. This is similar to the article in the sense that people, myself included, should try to love not just what other people expect us to love, but instead put a genuine focus on sharing love where it is needed most. This article made me reflect in all the right ways.

  • Glad to hear the article helped you reflect in ways you appreciate, Caleb. How do you know/decide each day where “love is needed most”? Thank you!

  • Caleb Trantow

    Well I think that varies from person to person. But for me personally, I first try to bring my passion into it. If it is helping someone, maybe it’s because I find I can sympathize with their struggles or if it’s a cause, it should be for something that I feel strongly about because I know that if I have that emotional connection that I will go on to make the largest impact. That is the second part of what I try to look for. Where I can make the biggest impact.

  • I agree. Thanks for your informative reply, Caleb.

  • Marian326

    Thank you very much for sharing! When I read the title of this article I immediately thought of teachings of the Bible, and that we are not to judge, lest we be judged. As a non-traditional student, aka old, I have lived many years spending too much time judging others. I would be reminded that I should not judge, but I did it anyway. Unfortunately, I believe it is our human/sinful nature that makes is so easy for us to judge others at first sight. Now, what I have learned is that I need to make a concerted effort to see what God sees, and to not allow my human nature to get the better of me, and to judge on first sight. When we take the time to build relationships, and to serve and be kind, loving others will become second nature.
    Again, thank you for sharing.

  • Mcgrailkk30

    Well for starters, every time I catch myself being judgmental or making assumptions I stop myself. I change the negative thought into a positive comment. Also, I have started my own sort of social experiment around my campus involving eye contact and smiling. There is all kinds of research about the positive and contagious effects that smiling can have, so when I am waking around campus or through buildings I am trying to look at people and smile more often. Most times students wander around campus with their heads down – not even noticing a random passerby. I am trying to pass on my happiness by smiling and even acknowledging those I pass by.

  • Of all the judgments we pass in our lives, none is more important than the ones we pass on ourselves, so thank you very much, Marian, for your reflections. Yes, this is a spiritual book, and will be drawing at many times from Bible teachings — how can you speak of morals, empathy and ethics without doing so? And the important part, of course, is asking the right questions and doing our best to respond, wouldn’t you say?

  • Good idea. Get those cell phones out of there and real eye contact. Good for you. Smiling is huge. Airlines’ “service levels” ratings are heavily affected by whether or not flight attendants smile at you 🙂

  • Tyler Russell

    Mark, thank you for sharing this moving article, it really made me think about many of my own actions. I am the first one to admit that I have passed my fair share of judgment on people I truly don’t understand. I think part of it is that it is much easier to pass judgement than to open your self up to love which is terribly sad. When we can all truly open our selves up to love and understanding I think we will all be in a much better off. Thanks for giving me a reason to look inside with this great story.

  • Thank you for your kind words, Tyler. Yes, it is hard to open yourself up and be vulnerable. That’s the “price” of the grace of love, I guess, to some extent. Everything worthwhile requires risk, requires some kind of “price,” wouldn’t you say?

  • Palecekb

    Yes, it makes perfect sense, I look forward to continue the story. The fact that you own the movie I was talking about makes me that much more interested in what you have to say, and overjoyed more and more people have watched it and taken it to heart, Thank you.

  • Trevor Boyle

    I definitely agree you become a better person when your willing to put your selfishness aside for once. I learned that the hard way. I ‘ve came a long since i was a teenager its funny to say that since i’m only 21 now. With my experience its better to be that stepping stone to help encourage someone else to lend a helping hand then to pass judgement on anyone.

  • And, after you become that stepping stone, maybe if you did judge, it would be a different judgment than before?

  • Tyler Russell

    I do entirely agree, the greater the risk often the greater the reward in life in generable. I wish myself along with those around me would see the benefits of taking these risk more often but in today society we all tend to do what is easiest and not necessarily what is best.

  • clemonsel02

    This is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read. I love the fact of thinking about love before judgment. I many times have had this happen to me. I’ve been judged for what my choices are before before people actually got to really know me. I try really hard not to judge before I know but in our world it is really hard. I think the world needs to learn compassion and love.

  • There is a story about why G-d decided to create human beings. The story tells of four angels trying to tell G-d what to do. “Truth” and “Peace” say humans should not be created because they will lie, fight and kill each other. “Righteousness” hopes humans will be good, but it’s not clear that is human nature. Finally, the angel of “deeds of lovingkindness” argues that while humans may do many bad things, from time to time they will show extraordinary kindness, compassion and love for each other. And for that reason, G-d creates human beings. What do you think?

  • Caitlin Snyder

    I think the best tip to give is to think before we speak, although I know from experience that it is a very hard thing to do!

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Mark, thank you again for sharing this good blog; I really enjoyed it. In addition to the Mother Teresa’s quote in your blog, I found another oen by her: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Well said…so true…I know I am not perfect, but does EVERYBODY really judge everybody? If so, should we learn how to identify our biased perspectives and change these perspectives before judging others? Any thoughts?

  • Some people clasp their hands behind their back, others take a few deep breaths. I agree, those pauses can make a big difference. And as you suggest, they require practice and more practice, particularly for high stress times.

  • Marian326

    I do say! Asking the right questions is the foundation of any relationship, be it between two people or yourself and your creator. I find myself questioning what I am doing and why. I also allow other;s questions to cause doubt on the answers that I have arrived at through self-reflection and prayer. In response to that doubt I become defensive and abrasive allowing that self judgement to creep back in…
    I am learning to push that judgement aside for myself and others!

  • Great insight. Even look at your wording: “I also allow others” – “allow” – I know these are quick responses on a comment board, but that wording includes a way you are looking at these relationships which is colored with judgment. So as you said, learning and thinking a bit deeper about these things is important. Thank you, Marian.

  • Marian326

    You are welcome! Thank you again for your insight and I plan to read more of your writings after I graduate in 17 days!

  • Thanks for the additional quote from the woman who mentored me in the mid-1990s. Never heard that rendition, Tammy. I wrote a piece the end of March 2007 about racism, asking the question, “Are you a racist?” My argument is certainly of my generation (boomers), we are. Many of us did grew up in homogeneous white communities, knew few if any people of color, and as we grew up and began interacting with people of different ethnic backgrounds, we had to “overcome,” if you will, some of that “wiring.” We certainly never wanted to be racist, sexist–all ‘isms’ are bad– but at times, had to consciously work at it. My argument was simply, ok, let’s admit that is in our background and work forward to make sure that we honor every human being equally and get that crap out of our lives. A famous black leader once said to me in post-apartheid South Africa, “It was better when we had apartheid, because at least then, racism was on the table.” The comment blew me away, but I knew what he meant. He gave his life to fight apartheid, and while this comment may not have been core to his beliefs in any way — a dinner table comment — his point was well taken. We are a judging animal – the famous brown eyes-blue eyes experiment haunts every human. Admit it and let’s make sure we move past it, as there is only one judge, in whose ‘eyes’ we are all equal, and let’s move on together as one.

  • Congratulations, Marian. And please ‘like’ these posts as works for you and pass on these articles to friends whom you feel may benefit from these writings and our discussions.

  • Marian326

    Liked and shared!

  • jack lomax

    Great way to live your life that! Why judge then love, when you can just simply love? Going into the teaching profession, I’m sure it’s easy to make that initial judgement of someone first before you get to know them, but then are you getting the full story? Are you making the right call? Are you making sure you are doing your duty as a teacher to serve the students? I know I’ve been guilty of judging first, and yes I would probably say I am guilty of still doing it. Its a terrible habit, and it is something that needs to change and it’s something that I will work on, because it is honestly a great way to live your life. Why make someone feel less of themselves, when you can just be nice and give them the same chance everyone else gets, and make them feel loved.

  • So true, Jack. Research shows how we make judgments 5-10 seconds into meeting someone. It’s hard to take off that judgmental hat and put on the loving, accepting one. I remember the Dalai Lama responding to a question about how he feels walking into a room of people who don’t agree with what he and his people are doing. He said, that every time he meets any one or a group, he starts off from the perspective that they are all his friends, they just haven’t met him yet. That’s a very different starting point than most of us have. Try it?

  • KevinThomson32

    I really like what you said. This world would be a much better place if we could love before we judge. I do not know why it is so hard, but I am also guilty of this problem.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    Yet again, another great article. I always think of myself as a non-judgmental person. Which I do think I am, but at the same time I think I judge a little bit more than I realize. It is really hard to not judge people of the bat. You think that you need to judge them first, before you get to know them. Which is where the quote you stated comes in, “Do you judge first and then try to love? Or do you simply love first?” Now that I think about it, I do think that I judge, then try to love… I think it is almost like having a guard up. Almost like I have to judge and make sure I am okay so I know I won’t get hurt by the love. I realize now that this is not a good thing. Why judge the person you want or do love? If your heart and gut instinct is to just simply love, then I should do so. I think this will make things a lot easier in my life. I always try to tell me self to go with the flow. I need to practice this more in my everyday life.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I can openly say, that I have previously judged first then tried to love. And I agree, it is easy to judge, but is hard to love someone even tho we know the flaws. When you said “We are much too quick to judge, but that’s easy to say and hard to actually act on” is 100% true. Why do you think that us as people are so quick to judge?

  • turbo_frey

    Unfortunately, making judgments and stereotypes of others has always existed and most likely always will. However, we don’t have to be like those kinds of people who judges others based on appearance. Individuals that take the time to get to know another will have more success with keeping relationships than those who don’t. We can help educate and influence others to do the same, as well as help those who are often judged or given stereotypical assumptions. Everyone has the right to be different and deserves that respect.

  • Great insight, Jessica. So how will you put this more into practice in your everyday life? I use two questions all the time when confronting something that could be unsettling, something that pushes me into my judgment-Mark: what is the truth here? (usually my ego on display 🙂 and what is in the best interests of all? Helps me at times avoid judgment.

  • Caitlin Snyder

    Thank you for that awesome story, Monique! It’s so true, the world needs more people who will pull other crabs out of the bucket instead of back down. People need to step out of their comfort zones more and reach out to people. I like to think I help others out of the bucket instead of back in, but we can all fall into that trap once in a while. This was an awesome post, thanks so much!

  • Caitlin Snyder

    That’s crazy how we make judgments that quickly into meeting someone. There are plenty of people in my life who I judged completely wrong and we turned out to be good friends. Judging people is a hard habit to break, especially in a college setting where there are so many people around all the time. It’s easy to want to feel wanted within a group.

  • Angela Hoch

    Keeli, I really enjoyed your honesty in your response. I also took time to reflect upon my own actions when it comes to judging others. I don’t even know why I do it sometimes, and often tell myself to “stop” and turn that portion of my mind off. I always try to tell myself, I have flaws and wouldn’t want someone judging me, so why do I judge others? I’m proud of myself for at least acknowledging the fact that I do judge others sometimes, and it’s something that I work at everyday.

  • How does “judging” help you feel/get wanted by a group? And if so, why would you want to be part of that group?

  • Keeli Gilbert

    I feel that admitting that you judge people is a step in the right direction in not being so judgmental on others as well as ourselves. Because we are our biggest critic.

  • Keeli Gilbert

    If I had a business right now, I feel that in order to create a non-judgmental climate for my clients they need to know and understand that we all have rough days, but they need to keep pushing forward, and that we all have to start out somewhere. Also that I am not here to judge them. I understand that coming to an instructor and admitting that you need help changing your life is a HUGE deal!! I get it, and I want and need them to know that I am proud of them for even showing up and doing whatever it is that they are doing, even if they are only biking for 5 minutes. Every little bit counts.
    What do you tell yourself when you find yourself judging others?

  • “Stop!” I tell myself. Then I say, what do you see that is good in this person? What special attributes, etc. do they have? I don’t ask myself at the moment why I am judging. I just try to get myself to stop.

  • We usually take seconds to size someone up. It’s part of our survival instincts. But today, as you said, we need to take time. As one of my friends once said, “I come across like a hardcover book. But once you get to know me, you’ll find a paperback [book] inside.”

  • We usually take seconds to size someone up. It’s part of our survival instincts. But today, as you said, we need to take time. As one of my friends once said, “I come across like a hardcover book. But once you get to know me, you’ll find a paperback [book] inside.”

  • Do you judge first and then love? Or do you love first? Given your answer, how do you think that has affected your personal life and work? What would you do differently in the future and why?

  • Taylor Schulz

    I couldn’t agree more. This is so inspiring. This has also happened to me many times.

  • Angela Hoch

    I also really enjoyed reading that story Monique! The world does need more people who will get out of their comfort zone. It’s hard to reach out to others because one could feel intimidated or nervous on what’s to come.

  • Samantha Smith

    Thank you for this article blog I really enjoyed reading it. I think it is very important to love before you judge. You never really know what another person has been through or what thry have going on in there lives at thst very moment. In any business matter it will be noted to always love before anything else.

  • Samantha Smith

    That’s great advice for the Dalai Lama. That’s a way tonlive that will better everyone’s day. Thank you for the advice.

  • Samantha Smith

    I find most of my initial judgment to be from my competitave side. I like to be better and do better and that is why I am so quick to judge but it can have its negative side too when you realize how wrong you are.

  • Samantha Smith

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It had a great message.

  • Samantha Smith

    I am the same way if I see someone being left out I try my best to include them because most of the time other people are not so bad.

  • Samantha Smith

    I think one way to move past the idea of judging someone first would be to remember when you yourself didn’t perform the way you wanted and what was going on that prevented you from performing well and remember that maybe they are having that type of day.

  • Samantha Smith

    Well put opinion Alex. How do you love before judge?

  • Samantha Smith

    I never thought about the positive judgements being just as harmful as the negative judgements.

  • Samantha Smith

    I think the people that a person is around can be then first thing I see so in do judge a person based of that. I need to love first.

  • Tkachukme11

    I can totally see the self-judgment part. You become someone new in a sense when you fall in love. It makes you blind to other aspects because you will do anything for the person and always want to make them the happiest. so I can totally understand where that starts judgment of the one you love. Like if I am treating you so well, why can’t they always treat me the same way in return? You get expectations and sometimes they aren’t met.

  • Evan Hibbs

    I make that same mistake Samantha, and that’s something I need to improve on!

  • What is the danger, Samantha, of loving before you judge? What is the big risk(s) you are taking and how does that make you rethink how to act?

  • You are welcomed, Samantha. It’s all in your perspective and what energy you bring into a room, and to others. Has more of an effect than you think when you realize that only 10% of communication is what you say.

  • What has happened to you many times Taylor? Can you explain a little more? Thank you.

  • Absolutely. Like a 12-step program. Or management consulting 🙂 Figuring out and admitting the ‘problem’ is the first critical step in any transformation. Then, what are you going to do?– which takes courage!

  • Why is it so hard? Any ideas, Kevin, appreciated. This is a really tough one for me, too. One of my biggest weaknesses is how judgmental I am — different from being ‘discerning.’

  • Slepicka12

    Thank you Monique for sharing your story. You made some really good points. And i think more people should give people a chance before judging them.

  • Slepicka12

    I do agree with you that it is important to Love before you judge. If you judge how are you suppose to get to know someone in any situation.

  • Slepicka12

    I totally agree with you and I believe that it is always better to to get to know someone before you start to judge them.

  • Trevor Boyle

    I think your absolutely right mark. I think after you lend the helping hand and get to know that person your judgement becomes a little bit more clear and you actually have something to go on rather then just judgement on site.

  • Important issue,Trevor, so if you don’t mind me asking a bit more, what is it that this knowing is about? What info helps you in your decision making? Thank you!

  • Trevor Boyle

    I think what helps me in my decision making when it comes to judging others if that’s what your asking? Is I have to get a comfortable feeling about them. See if I can feel them out see how they interact with other people hoe they carry themselves. I will never judge anyone by their pasts if they changed and learned from those mistakes. How about yourself?

  • I have found that it depends on the situation. For example, I can meet a 17-18 year old who wants to get into my alma mater (I get about 50-75 requests each year) and within 5 minutes I can tell whether they have a chance of getting in. I’m right over 90% of the time. On the other hand, in my company, I find it takes at least a month of working with someone before I have a handle on them and can ‘judge.’ I was not born with a very high EQ so it is not natural to me, but in what I do (socially responsible business) I get as you say a ‘feeling’ and it is usually right, tempered by at least a few weeks of working together.

  • What if you don’t judge? Do you ‘discern’? Humans are known for their pattern-recognition ability. Should we use any of that before love? Or is this question asking something else? Please take a moment to think about it, if it intrigues you. If not, toss it out 🙂

  • Alivia Holman

    I agree with you about everything. I don’t understand why our society judges before we even get to know others. Is it because how we are raised? Is it because of the clothing? We need to take a good look at ourselves and extend our hands to know each other before we start to judge.

  • This ‘judgment,’ Alivia, began as protection – survival instincts – sizing up whether something/one approaching was dangerous. It has certainly gone long beyond that today. And yes, I wrote this so that we might take a little deeper look into how we use judgment today in ways that may get in the way of what we ultimately like in the world, and in our world, too 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  • kmaheu

    This story is very touching. I’ve spent time in Romania working with the Gypsy populations there and seeing how harshly these wonderful people are judged rather than loved and given help – it really shows you how easily and quickly things could change if the lovers and helpers weren’t so few and far between.

  • Yes, there is only one judge and it is not us. I love what a friend once told me about dealing with some pretty ‘ugly’ people in his profession: “I can always find something to love in anyone.” And who doesn’t need a little more loving?

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    I am the type of person to love first! Always have been that type of person. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt! And to be honest this way of life definitely burned me in the past. I have been taken advantage of for my giving ways, but that will never stop me from loving others and giving them my all. I would never change the way I love everyone and care for them because no one deserves to be judged first or ever. If everyone lived their life loving each other for who we all are instead of judging we would all be a happy people in general!

  • My new pen pal, you Andrew. Couldn’t agree more with what you said. Blessings…

  • ryanhaberer

    Unfortunately we live in a society that judges first and asks questions later. We simply decide to judge and do not look outside the box and perhaps ask ourselves how we would feel if we were in their shoes. I know that I have been guilty of this myself at times and have learned to regret it. Judging simply does nothing other than preventing future opportunities with people who have potential to give you the very things you are looking for. I have actually put this into practice and have the made the conscious decision to not judge anyone until I get to know them on the personal level and it has rewarded me with some pretty incredible opportunities in life. I encourage anyone to look outside the box and love first, and judge second you as an individual would only want that yourself.

  • Yes, we especially judge, Ryan, as you say on the easier to ‘see’ externals, like even what people say rather than what they do.

  • yencheskcj27

    Great article on the human aspect of business. I’ve often thought that we as business-people are too caught up in sales and profits to care about loving the individuals we come into contact with, but it is the human element which makes business a worthy career for all the sales we bring in and all the money we make will no longer matter when we are gone, but it is the impact we had on others that will continue to make an impact much beyond our years.

  • Carly Konkol

    Thank you Mark for writing this article and thank you, strakaJA01 for your response! I totally agree with you, I try my very best not to judge anyone because I know how it feels to be unfairly judged and it hurts! But, as you mentioned, sometimes we fall off track and judge others, when we know we shouldn’t. As you said, the moment humans realize how much more successful and how much more we can all flourish from building each other up, the world will become a much better place. Again, thank you for your insight. Took the words right out of my mouth. 🙂

  • Interesting to think of ‘legacy’ in terms of how you treat others in day-to-day business, isn’t it?

  • asutianna

    I believe many times I have loved without judging and although it has gotten me in many less than favorable situations it has also given me the opportunity to meet and embrace some wonderful and unique people I otherwise would have never known. Being able to love with out judging not only gives you the opportunity to get to know others but gives you the freedom to go through your life with an open and light heart.

  • Kristina Padlo

    This article was particularly inspiring. I’d like to think,
    I would do as the woman did, serve and be kind. I generally don’t have a
    problem being initially loving. I stumble when the voice of others judge before
    me, I have to remind myself to hear my voice first and not be afraid of being judged
    myself. I’ve always tried to live by, treat others how you would like to be

  • And gives you a chance to forgive, or at least not judge, yourself, too, don’t you think?

  • Yes, Kristina, also, what about treating others as they would like to be treated?

  • earose14

    First I would say that I have never really thought to myself if I judge first and then love. Most the time I try not to judge and just love because I am very open to everyone and giving all a chance. Sometimes I think that loving first can either make things great or can ruin a relationship. I wouldnt say it has affected my life but this article gives me something to think about and the way I view things. How do you know to judge or to love first though? Thanks for sharing this article.

  • First, you need to be clear on what you mean by ‘Love’? Second, there is a difference between being judgmental and being discerning. It is not as if we want to not be thoughtful about what we do, but on the other hand, we often don’t have all the information we would need — and may never had — to judge another. The question is simply, how will you act.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    Your article was perfect, I couldn’t agree more. I have been raised on the saying ” Don’t judge a book by its over” and your article reflected on that. I feel judgment is harsh and rather unfair, yet is expected and acceptable if used in the right context. Because I am a lover not a hater, I sometimes find that I am often taken advantage of because I give people the chance to give me their best in return for the same. I have learned it is okay to judge others, under the right circumstances. If someone broke my trust, I do not rely on their words to change that mistrust into trust, I go off of their actions. If your actions can not back up your words I often feel that I need to reassess my initial approach and use my best judgment to decide if pursuing that friendship is worth the risk or not.

  • A question, if you don’t mind Alyssa, for you and your generation. I see a world today where what you say seems so much more important than what you do. For example, a broadcaster comments that Beyonce’s daughter had ‘nappy hair’ when seen on the MTV awards, and that announcer gets fired. Or someone comments inappropriately on a domestic violence case, and loses his/her job. But yet the actual person doing the action (not Beyonce, of course, but the second example), the violence, etc. gets off in so many ways, legal-smegall. Your world seems to be the Facebook-instagram world of say-show not do-change where it is all about the former more than what it should be, about the latter, as you so well argue. What do you think?

  • Alyssa Schragen

    I agree that with my generation it seems it takes a person to hide behind technology to take a stand for what they believe or even if they disagree with something they often can’t face it in reality so they use technology as an outlet. It seems like those people get a false impression that they can do, think, and say whatever they want if they do it online because then it’s “safe.” I however on the other hand don’t usually voice my opinion through any source of social networking. I have Facebook and instagram but I use it for the purposes it was made for; to stay connected with my family and friends. I believe that in order to make a difference it starts with the people you interact on a daily basis outside of the world of technology. My voice has been heard, and I have been told that i don’t model the same behaviors that expected out of those in my generation, and because of that I feel that I make a bigger difference than of someone who sends out a campaign online about domestic violence and puts their name on it. I don’t entirely think that it is a waste to use technology as an outlet to be heard I just feel it is abused in my generation and often can be misconstrued.

  • Thanks for the reply. My main question though is if we/you think that what you do is more important than what you say, then why does this Gen Xer seeing ramifications more from what people say than what they do?

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for this article, I would say I judge first and then love, I think it’s a way of protecting myself and I do it subconsciously. I’m a fairly shy person so I like to make sure I know the person well enough before I start letting them into my life. Usually, my judgement is always wrong, I tend to notice negative things about a person and judge them entirely on that and then realize I was wrong and that they are a great person! It’s maybe affected the type of people I hang around with, but I’m more motivated now to embrace different people with different views/opinions/personalities – it can only be a good thing!

  • CoachDavis24

    Thank you for this blog. I have tried really hard in my life not to judge people. I have struggled with this. I don’t have much of a social life due to not having a large amount of friends. This is because a lot of people irritate me. So many people are unhealthy, ignorant, and lazy. I have had a hard time finding people that I can call friends. Even my best friends drive me nuts. Since being in school for P.E. anyone that is uninformed of education, health, or exercise drives me up a wall the way they talk about their daily lifestyle. The only thing I can think of to help this is through education. I want to inform students about the importance of healthy decisions. That way the next generation will be healthier and more capable to do the things that need to be done to make this a better world to live in.

  • We all have this “negative” radar, I think. What’s nice is to concentrate instead on what you can find that is good in a person. We all have both. And it is fine to be ‘discerning’, particularly if you are shy. But that is different from being a judge and jury.

  • Like energy draws out like energy. I find that when I am a certain way, I tend to attract those kind of people or that kind of vibe from the same people. For example, I spent the first half of my career (20 years) at Harvard B-School. I was a marketing professor and I felt many of the people I came into contact only cared about money and power, nothing else. I then spent the next 25 years as an ‘educator’, but in the world of social responsibility. I found people to be generous, gracious, giving. I think back in at times, those may have been the same people. But the circumstances were bringing out a different energy. Make sense?

  • Camillewuensch

    I loved this article! This makes me really think and see how judgmental some people in this world can be. I know from first hand many people judge just by looking at you. I work in the fast food industry and when you have certain people that come into the store you do judge and worry they will upset other customers. I love that no matter who came into that dressing room the salesperson would have been kind regardless if they could afford what they were trying on or not. i feel like we need everyone in this world to be like that and have that mind set

  • Garrett Nelson

    Very inspiring and thought provoking article Mark! Every day there seems to be judgments that need to be made, but not necessarily on people, but actions or philosophies. Some things need to be judged, based on the circumstances of that situation and the actions needed to be taken. As for the judgment of people, it is a natural instinct to automatically judge someone based on their appearance, actions, and how they respond to something. People do this on an everyday basis all over the place and I believe their is a reason for it, simply because that is the way our minds work. We can practice not to judge and love somebody for who they are before we even know them, but that is more of a philosophical way of looking at life. If you plan to love someone before you even meet them then I believe you would just love everyone for being human. In my opinion, and with my own experience, I believe judgment comes first before truly “loving” someone. Not all judgments have to be negative, it has many positive aspects to it that we overlook. By judging, you can find people’s weaknesses, strengths, likes, dislikes, and ultimately what about them makes them so lovable. Knowing these things do not have to be negative, but can be judged in a positive way. For instance, you judge someone based on their weakness of motivating themselves to exercise every day. Well maybe by noticing this, you can make a workout plan for them or personally help them stay motivated to exercise. I believe judgments are truly necessary to love someone, but that is not to say that we don’t need more people helping other people to find their strengths to help them succeed. As much as we do not want to judge other people and as much as we don’t think we do, it still happens all the time. What do you think triggers us to judge other people so automatically?

  • Thank you, but another point here is it is fine to be discerning, and you can without judgment. Certain people come in and you can clearly see that they have a greater probability to be a problem than someone else. Fine. But it in no way requires you to judge that person, why they do what they do, are what they are. It simply requires you to act responsibly based on your sense of probabilities. Make sense?

  • Please look at my comment below, Garrett, about ‘discernment’ which in my opinion you describe well and with which I agree, and ‘judgment.’ It also is about the attitude that comes with loving vs judging. For example, the Dalai Lama was once asked how he handled certain meeting where he knew that in that room for the meeting were many people who hated him and his people. He always said the same, “I walk into a room and immediately assume everyone is my friend and I go from there.” Now he is not going to be an idiot, will be discerning but he begins from a place of love and oneness, until you prove differently, instead of a place of hate and divisiveness. Hope this helps!

  • Camillewuensch

    Yes that does make a lot of sense! Thank you for making me see it in a different way.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    I think maybe they think they can get their message out to more people in a shorter amount of time than if choose to lead by actions instead of by voice. I do feel social media is very powerful and can be useful if not abused. I also feel that my generation feels that sharing their thoughts on social media can be set anonymously therefore that fear of rejection or being wrong is easier to face when others don’t always know who said what.

  • Got it – thank you

  • Alex Prailes

    This is something that’s very interesting to me because I love first and then judge. I’m someone who loves all people until they give me a reason not to. But recently, I’ve noticed a lot of people judge first and then love. I feel like a lot of people are very guarded with their feelings, which makes them be judgmental first and then love afterwards. This makes it harder for us to really appreciate and get to know people.

  • Absolutely, Alex. Dad helps you be like this? Thank you for all your insightful, useful comments.

  • knapprl17

    This has been one of my favorite articles. Over the past year a friend of mine introduced me and encouraged me to live in a judgement free zone. I have seen incredible differences in my life when I try to love first instead of judging someone right off the back. I have continued to live my life in a judgement free zone and surround myself with those who also try to love first. I have also encouraged new friends to try loving first and it has been incredible to see how our relationships were able to grow because we were able to talk freely with one another, without that fear of being judged.

  • Travis Mattice

    I think that in some way everyone judges first before loving. If you do not judge how can you tell if you love someone? However, I think that most people judge for the wrong reasons. We don’t know that person or what their story is. What gives us that right to judge them. My personal opinion is that only one Person has the right to judge us and in the end, His is the only one that matters.

  • I love that expression: ‘judgment free zone.’ Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks for all your comments, Travis. There is a difference between ‘discernment’–which you need to love, get through life, etc.–and ‘judging’. It doesn’t mean that we turn our brain or instincts off; it means that once we have made an assessment, we don’t act then as judge and jury about it. We control our own actions, of course, but not necessarily someone else’s. Make sense? And I use the same expression as you: There is only one Judge, and it is not me!

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I feel it is in our human nature to judge first, then love. From the absolute first second of an encounter with someone else, we judge. It’s not out of cruelness or anything in that sense, but habit, and normalcy. Therefore, as much as I wish I loved first, I know the reality is that the judgement appears first. That isn’t to say it’s in a negative way, it’s just taking in the appearance, personality, and lifestyles of another compared to your own version of this life. I feel it affects my life because as a Christian I do not strive to be judgmental, but the opposite. I wish to love people the way I am loved by God. Although I know that it’s necessarily possible because we aren’t created to be perfect-I’ll still give it all I’ve got.

  • That’s great, Hannah. Then what you are talking about is being ‘discerning’, which is critical, beginning with survival, as opposed to ‘judgmental’. Do you see the difference?

  • Uma Maheswar Nakka

    Good Morning Sir,
    I have no much literature with me to write in the most appropriate and pleasing manner. Just I want to say this article is very useful for the present and future mankind.

    Thanks for sharing a very valuable article.
    Regards and blessings.

  • Thank you for sharing, Uma. I look forward to your insights, comments and questions.

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    Yes discerning would definitely be a better word. I try not to be judgmental of people and sometimes my mind takes the win on that one. But discerning is different because it’s not viewing things of someone or something negatively. This is definitely important because we have to be aware of the things around us.

  • Great – doesn’t carry the weight of judgment. Simply, using our faculties to make good choices. Thanks, Hannah!

  • Shaquille Boswell-Downey

    I definitely love first. I try to trust everyone even when its someone i shouldn’t but i love first. I think my personal life has been affected by it humorously because i always want to make people happy and if i were to judge first i think i would be in a totally different place in my life right now. In they future i would open than i am now because i know people always need someone to talk to and its very healthy to vent and that’s essential.

  • Ananda Conlon

    I really admire what you took from this article. I think that it is extremely important to keep an open mind towards all people. It can be easy to get caught up in todays society and see others’ shortcomings. It is so important to focus on the good in others because that is what I want others to do to me.

  • Ananda Conlon

    My dad would always tell me a story about how some people may have 9 great qualities and one poor one, but to always focus on those good qualities. There are also people with 9 poor qualities and only 1 good quality, yet it is still important to focus on that good quality. I try to remember this in my daily life. I have a group of friends that tend to be hard on people that they don’t know well based on a fact that they know. I have tried to be a good influence on them and express that story that my dad would tell to me.

  • Wonderful, Shaquille. Can you do that with your father, too? How could that be possible? What would you need to do or see changed?

  • Great advice from your Dad, Ananda. If we focus on the good, we bring more of the good out. As it is said, ‘Every saint’s been a sinner and every sinner’s been a saint.’ And best to your Dad!

  • Ananda Conlon

    That quote does go along nicely with my dad’s short story. It is always important to surround yourself with people that bring out the good in you. Sometimes it is also refreshing to be that influence for others. I think that that can just just as rewarding. Thank you for all of your insight. It is much appreciated.

  • You’re very welcome. Thank you, Ananda.

  • Schudakp21

    I have always tried to be the person that loves first but i do not think i am. Im not only a judge first person or a love first person but a combination of both. I have always tried to give the person the benefit of the doubt first. Look past their flaws and accept them for who they are but there have been people who have taken advantage of that so i have become a little more judge first. Test them and get to know them before I truly accept them.

  • Taylor

    That Nordstrom story was very touching. I wish I could say that I love first then judge but honestly I can’t say that. I think in society today most people judge first and then love. I think my judgements have lessened as I have gotten older but I cannot say I do not judge anymore. With it being said that I know I do judge I try to push those prejudgements aside and really get to know a person because most of the time my judgements are wrong. I would be missing out on a lot if I just went by my judgements, I wrongly judged some of my best friends when we first met but I got to know them and they proved those judgements to be very wrong.

  • Taylor

    Thank you Monique for sharing your story. I agree with you the world needs more people who will pull other crabs out of the bucket and help them find their strengths. There are too many people in this world who just want to get ahead and will pull anybody down to get where they want to be.

  • Travis Mattice

    I do see where you are coming from. Sometimes there are so many ways to look at a situation and you don’t even know them all. I feel that can also work against a person too. Its just difficult to see everything. Not to mention some people don’t let their true colors show right away either.

  • Absolutely. I had one of my wise friends come to my 2nd year MBA class one year, and I asked him to tell the class what he got out of going to business school. He replied that he learned that whenever a situation came up, the best thing he could do is call 5-10 of his best friends and ask them for their opinions — just so he didn’t miss some angle, some perspective that might make him respond differently. As he said, “Perspective is worth 100 IQ points.” Good advice, don’t you think, Travis?

  • We all need to be cautious. As one of your classmates posted on her Facebook page: ‘You’ll grow up disappointed if you think everyone has the same heart you do.’ The key is finding the good in other people, understanding their heart first, without judgment, and then seeing where a relationship might go, don’t you think?

  • First impressions aren’t always correct, are they, Taylor? Well-said. Judging a book by his cover doesn’t work too often. While we want to be ‘discerning’ we just need to be careful about ‘judging’. Everyone is a combination of good and bad. Love lets us bring out the good, I believe.

  • Taylor

    First impressions are most definitely not always correct. I agree we do need to be careful about judging, it is something we all do and should be aware of. I think you are right though that love lets us bring out the good.

  • Schudakp21

    Wow I really really like that quote “You’ll grow up disappointed if you think everyone has the same heart you do” because it is so true. If you thought everyone you meet was the same as you, then you are already putting expectations on your relationship before you even get to know them. So then your are inevitably going to end up judging them when they are not going to be meeting your expectations. The best thing to do as you mentioned is to get to know them without judging them and seeing if you are a good fit together.

  • Travis Mattice

    Yes I agree. It is always good to get other peoples opinions on something. In many cases someone else thinks of something that maybe you didn’t or possibly a different way of doing something all together. I like it.

  • To walk in beauty, as Native American’s profess, is what we want. And that is not judgment, but love.

  • Set your expectations low, expect little or nothing, and you will usually be happily surprised.

  • You listen, nod and then it’s up to you what you do with it — don’t need to accept it — but you have let that person be heard and feel important and valued by you.

  • Austin Dorman

    I couldn’t agree with your dad more. My dad also taught me to be respectful and accepting of everyone. I always try to find the best in people. Weather that person has 9 great qualities or only 1 they have the potential to be a great person. I have similar friends, and when they start to get super critical of people I try and put it into perspective for them. Or perhaps point out the good qualities that those people have too.

  • Austin Dorman

    If I sell others short because of one random thing that I did, then I would only expect that others could tend to sell me short because of some silly mistake I made. It’s crucial to be supporting and understand of all people. You never know when someone is having a really rough time or just an off day. Just because you see one bad habit or one bad quality doesn’t make that person completely bad. There usually tends to be many great qualities that accompany the bad. It’s our job to try and find those good and appreciate people for their true potential.

  • Austin Dorman

    I couldn’t agree more with you Caitlin. I used to judge people immediately after meeting them, but the truth is that some people are really bad at first impressions or someone people tend to grow on you. This doesn’t mean that they are bad people, just means that you can’t judge everyone right away. I am a person who tries and sees the best in people, and sometimes that doesn’t get revealed right away. So jumping to conclusions about people too quickly can ruin your chances of meeting some great people.

  • Slepicka12

    I really enjoyed this article. I try and not judge anyone before I get to know them. I think getting to know people before judging them is always a good idea. I feel like if people judge too fast they could be missing out on something wonderful.

  • Guest

    Thank you Monique for sharing your story. You made some really good points. And i think more people should give people a chance before judging them

  • Slepicka12

    I really like how your dad put that. You made some really good points. And i think more people should give people a chance before judging them. I always try and get to know people before I even think about judging them.

  • hirthjp18

    I really enjoy the quote “If you judge you can not love”. I finds this very true and I find myself guilty of this. Its definitely hard not to judge due to the society we live in. If our society focused more so on love and acceptance you would find a lot more people doing the same.

  • How long, then, before you begin ‘judging’ someone?

  • How does our society lead us to be more judgmental? And what as family members can we do to help not be so judgmental?

  • Slepicka12

    There really isn’t a time frame for me. If you are not a plesent person to be around than I take note of it.

  • Fair enough. Just curious how you/your generation would frame this questions different than mine. Thank you.

  • Slepicka12

    Your welcome. I’m sorry that I couldn’t explain it better.

  • You did just fine. Very well, in fact. Thank you again.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed this because it is something I really try to work at in my life. I try not to see things from a different perspective than just my own. I would rather try to understand a person and encourage them in some way rather than tear them down because it is not in the norm or not something I am used. It takes much effort to not respond negatively toward a person but you will learn more about others if you take the time to love them instead of shunning them out because they are different.

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    I agree with your comment, it’s easy to put labels on those and judge those who are “different” or seen as “weak”. It’s important to not judge a person by what you see on the outside because you don’t have a first hand look at why a person acts the way that they do.

  • orvisbj27

    I believe early in life I used to judge first then love after. For example, I would criticize someone for doing something wrong, correct them, and say what they did do good. It makes them feel like they can never do better than average. Praising what they did well first, then suggesting corrections makes them feel they were on par, now here’s how to get better. I enjoyed your article and although I have practiced the latter more frequently I still find myself sometimes stating the negatives first.

  • hmcavey

    Judgement is so easy to do, but almost impossible to reverse. When we judge a person’s action or their character itself, do we really have any moral high ground to do so? Absolutely not. “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10. Whether a Christian or an atheist, love is love. I’m a love first, make a decision after. When I meet a person I make the firm decision to personally know who they are before I decide to keep them around or not.

  • Austin Dorman

    Everyone should give people more of a chance before judging. I, truly, am not even a big fan of the word judging. I think you should get to know a person for who they really are. obviously people are going to have some bad traits or habits, but usually there are plenty more great qualities to accompany the bad. We need to stop being so judgmental and more accepting of others for who they are.

  • Luke Drumel

    Mark, you make some excellent points and I am at fault because I do judge people and I do regret it but I’m human and will learn from my mistakes. With judgment comes risk and most of the time we assume and just jump right on in not knowing the outcome and keep an open mind at all times.

  • I agree. It’s much better to look for what is good in the person — and we all have good and bad — but sometimes that is hard to do. Why do you think being ‘different’ causes behavior we are not proud of?

  • Don’t we all. Discernment can help everyone; the weight of judgment serves no one.

  • As the Dalai Lama said when asked when he has an audience with people who are against what he and his people are doing. To paraphrase, “When I walk in the room, I first assume that everyone is my friend. We just haven’t met yet.” What a great way to start and hope for the best.

  • Thank you for sharing and your honesty, Luke. What can you do to change in ways you feel good about?

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I think that everyone can relate to this article. People are so quick to judge one another, myself included. People assume that they know an individual before even talking to them just by the things they have heard about them. People are very critical of each other too. Because people are so critical, I think that is a reason why people are so afraid to make mistakes or try to be perfectionists. I think everyone deserves to be given a chance before they are judged at something. I am definitely trying to love people before judging them. People are fighting little battles that you might not even know about, so its best to not assume that you know or understand them before really getting to know them.

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I agree, Hannah. I think it is in our nature to judge others first. I do not think we try to judge others, it is just so normal that we do it without realizing that we are being judgmental. I am also a Christian and I try to show people love and kindness before anything else, but that can be hard to do.

  • Kayla Martin

    I really liked the story about the bag lady and the sales lady. It is touching even if it isn’t a true story, people should be willing to go the extra mile for others. If everyone could show just an ounce of compassion towards other people the world would be a better place.
    I try to love first but I don’t know how well I do that. I work in an place where I deal with customers a lot. I am very judgmental there because people can be very rude. I know I should be more understanding maybe someone is having a bad day and it is being taken out on us. But it is really hard to not judge someone if they yell at your or have a rude tone. I should really try and love more and judge less.

  • struckml03

    I LOVED THIS POST! Wow, this was right up my ally. Some of these quotes and phrases I am writing out to put on paper to hang up in my apartment. I believe in order to love fully, you cant judge. Judging is associated in a negative aspect and love never is associated with negativity. We should look at peoples strengths like you mentioned. And I believe too that we should do things out of love and help people strive to do the best. People should never judge others, especially on appearance. Judging someone does more damage than good – to both the judger and the person being judged.

  • What is one practice, Katelyn, that would help you, or others, love before you/they judge?

  • It absolutely is a true story, made famous by Reverend Crawford, written up in the NY Times, etc., but you’re right, that is not the point, Kayla. Here is another true story that might help – about aikido and love of the stranger: https://www.ramdass.org/a-kind-word-turneth-away-wrath

  • Yes, thank you. There is only one judge, and it’s not us!

  • Kayla Martin

    I really like that story. It was nice how the old man could calm down the drunk by just talking. Stories like this make me really proud of humanity! they bring light into a world that can be so dark.

  • How do we evolve so there are more ‘normal’ stories than exceptional ones?
    Glad you read it, Kayla. One of my favorites!

  • Kyle Gettelman

    I liked the section in this article that shows that we have both sides within us, the difference is the side that shows, that gets fed. My only question is, can we get out of having to be one side or the other, and be able to embrace some of both “traits” to better ourselves as well? I see many times in our society today, that the people who purely love, are the ones who get hurt the most, and it can lead them to a very dark path, and I have seen the most judgmental people have great success on the outside, but be destructive to themselves on the inside. Is there a way that both can be encompassed so that we can love wholeheartedly, but have the ability to protect ourselves. Since taking care of me first, can lead to helping and loving you more, wouldn’t I want to make sure that I am okay with everything for me initially?

  • Kayla Martin

    That is a hard question to answer. I think it is something that the media has to do at this point. There are so many movies where guys fight and then when they win they get respect or people cheer. I think that’s where most of the violence comes from. People need to learn that they can “save the day” using just their words which would be nicer way of dealing with people. I think it is scary when people fight. So I would be happy if people would be able to talk people down rather than trying to fight.

  • Thank you for your insightful response, Kayla.

  • Eric Brinkley

    The older I get the less judging I do.

  • I’m with you, Eric!

  • struckml03


  • Julia

    Unfortunately, people always judge then love. Most people look at the book cover before they read it. I don’t think it’s right. Personally, I look at the back of the book to figure out what exactly is inside! I try my best not to judge others, especially as a future health professional. When I go to work out, I see some people struggle, but I know they are trying. I don’t judge them by their abilities. I am impressed with their willingness to work and be healthy. I think that is what is most important about life. It’s important to point out the people who are actually trying to change themselves for the good, instead of judging them and knocking them down for trying.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I completely agree with what you said about the “negative side” to the situation. When you realize you are wrong, and you have already made judgment, it can make you feel like a truly terrible person. At least thats how it makes me feel.

  • Outcomes have short and long term results, Kyle. I agree, often those who “love” vs. “judge” may have harder short-term outcomes, but over time, they tend to attract more light than dark, and in other ways, quite possibly, have their lives enriched.

  • What a great story. Thank you for sharing, Monique.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    im a lover, i always see the best in people and want to make friends with new people i meet. sometime this back fires and they show that they are not who they say they are. i try to not be a judgmental person especially to people i dont know. i think this helped me become a friendly person in the work place and in my personal life. being very easy to talk to and liking everyone, i love going to work and being around people and getting to know new people.

  • Wonderful, Kaylie. How do you make sure you only see the best in people? Love to know your ‘trick’, so to speak!

  • Emily Krueger

    I really love reading this story. This touched my heart . I can not believe that a sale worker would spend a hour with a ladie in the dressing room. That goes to shows how much she cares by severing many different people out of the goodness of her heart.

  • dwyerms07

    This article gave me much insight on so many ways of life. Judgement can have so much power over a person life and how it can affect there own judgment. Only if people showed more love with their judgement then people would take that judgement in a more positive way.

  • dwyerms07

    Very true that people always judge then love. I believe that judgement is people first emotion over love because it takes more time to understand love over giving judgement.

  • dwyerms07

    I agree that it is very important to appreciate people for their true potential and to not expect other to fix our problems.

  • milkienr18

    I try my best not to judge first. Who am I to judge someone I don’t now. I also feel like I can’t judge someone for their decisions because I will never know if down the line i will be in their situation and then I would seem like a hypocrite. I think sometimes because of this people may think I am soft because i just care for everyone. I think it has led me to talk to some people that were no good for me but I felt compelled to listen to what they had to say and try and help them. I think in the future, I will maybe make people work for my respect a little more.

  • Will Ettl

    Well it is not good to judge first at all and I try not to judge at all either. But everyone to an extent judges and it is terrible and it sucks so much. In reality you should try to learn about them before you judge because you might find out something interesting or find out that you have a lot in common with the person rather than never talking to them at all.

  • Will Ettl

    I feel like the same thing has happened with me. As I have grown older and have gotten out of high school I feel like I do not judge any more because of the fact there is no peer pressure and I do not have to try to fit in.

  • Desiree

    I tend to love first because you don’t know someone when you look at them and cant judge someone if you have no idea who they are. its not fair to judge right away because you are not giving the other person a chance to express themselves. I really liked this article it shows that not everyone is a bad and that helping someone can make them feel better but make you feel better knowing that you made someones day better

  • Interesting – the fitting in creates a problem, does it? Is there peer pressure if you don’t think about it, even if it’s ‘there’, Will?

  • Why do you find it hard to believe, Emily? Isn’t that sad, that as you say, it really is out of the ordinary. Why is that? How do we make it more ‘ordinary’?

  • And how do we do that, judge less and love more? What are the biggest obstacles we must deal with?

  • Why should someone have to “work for your respect?” Up until that last sentence, I was right with you. Did judgment creep in in that last sentence? (I’d probably say the same kind of thing, by the way 🙂

  • I think it is important to differentiate ‘discernment’, Will, from ‘judgment’. While similar, they have at their roots a very different foundation for relationships, I believe, than the other. What do you think?

  • It does feel great knowing you made someone else’s day better, doesn’t it Desiree? Why is that? Is that better than doing something directly for yourself?

  • Tyler Hebert

    Everyone judges and everyone loves. It’s just which one do you do first is the question. This article talks about why you should love first and that everyone is here to be kind. I agree that judging isn’t the way to go. Just liking judging a book by its cover, you could miss out on a book that will change the way you look at life. If you love someone right away then you will most likely get a positive response in return.

  • Why do we need to ‘judge’ others? What is the point? I understand that we must be discerning, a primary neocortex function in our brain, but do we need to involve limbic centers through a desire to judge, too?

  • Adi Oliver

    Would you judge an animal abuser?

  • Adi Oliver

    Wouldn’t you judge an animal abuser?

  • We all have our opinions, our beliefs, our feelings. We take positions, have viewpoints. I would certainly have very negative feelings about an animal abuser. But do I have the right to hold judgment over another?

  • Adi Oliver

    It’s just that I’ve seen so many who talk about having forgiveness for people like rapists and murderers, but then they say nasty things and wish death on someone for kicking a cat or something like that, which is completely contradictory. If people really lived what they preached I would agree, but not if they only apply it when it suits them.

  • It’s hard enough to do the best ourselves rather than worry over the faults of others. I hear you, Adi. I received this kind of question from my 27 year old daughter when she was a teenager and had witnessed a friend acting similarly to what you describe. She cried in bed all afternoon. We finally deciding that the best way to react was to follow the words of the Bible, Gandhi and many others and just do the best ourselves — be an example, an exemplar, a light to others — and hope that has the biggest effect… not through judgment or forgiveness but through our own actions.

  • Adi Oliver

    Well I think it’s wrong to want revenge on animal abusers. People like that just want to justify their own nastiness and anger under the guise of having a ‘moral’ excuse for it.

  • So true, so true. We all have our ways of rationalizing. Have had (and have) many pets, a daughter whose life is dedicated to training and caring for dogs and cats, etc. I come from a place of considering deeply how we treat all living things — though I’m not a ‘fruitairian’ – Thanks for all your comments, Adi.